, Volume 164, Issue 2, pp 555–565 | Cite as

The impacts of climate change on the wintering distribution of an endangered migratory bird

Global change ecology - Original Paper


There is now ample evidence of the effects of anthropogenic climate change on the distribution and abundance of species. The black-faced spoonbill (Platalea minor) is an endangered migratory species and endemic to East Asia. Using a maximum entropy approach, we predicted the potential wintering distribution for spoonbills and modeled the effects of future climate change. Elevation, human influence index and precipitation during the coldest quarter contributed most to model development. Five regions, including western Taiwan, scattered locations from eastern coastal to central mainland China, coastal areas surrounding the South China Sea, northeastern coastal areas of Vietnam and sites along the coast of Japan, were found to have a high probability of presence and showed good agreement with historical records. Assuming no limits to the spread of this species, the wintering range is predicted to increase somewhat under a changing climate. However, three currently highly suitable regions (northeastern Vietnam, Taiwan and coastal areas surrounding the South China Sea) may face strong reductions in range by 2080. We also found that the center of the predicted range of spoonbills will undergo a latitudinal shift northwards by as much as 240, 450, and 600 km by 2020, 2050 and 2080, respectively. Our findings suggest that species distribution modeling can inform the current and future management of the black-faced spoonbill throughout Asia. It is clear that a strong international strategy is needed to conserve spoonbill populations under a changing climate.


Climate change Black-faced spoonbill (Platalea minorEast Asia Maxent Species distribution modeling Species’ range shift Wintering distribution 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of ZoologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Chengdu Institute of BiologyChinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina
  3. 3.South China Institute of Endangered AnimalsGuangzhouChina

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